Trevi, where olives are not just a legend: they are history.
Located in the Province of Perugia, Trevi is in the heart of the Umbria Region, in the centre of the Spoletana Valley, between Assisi and Spoleto.
Trevi was founded in the Roman period near the Via Flaminia and the banks of the Clitunno river, close to the city of St. Francesco and the Sagrantino wine Region. Trevi has been recognised as an Olive Oil, Slow Food, and Organic Food city. It has also been awarded the Italian Touring Clubs Orange Flag for its historical, cultural and environmental heritage and quality tourism, has been selected as one of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy and has been awarded an EMAS environmental certification!
“The most beautiful plain between mountains that one could see”…
That’s how it appeared in the 16th century to the sensitive soul of an extraordinary traveller, the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, and even today travellers who have the good fortune to admire this village and the surrounding area can experience the same sensations of wonder.
Enclosed by walls, it is surrounded by a silvery sea of olive trees, and olives are not just a predominant visual element in geographic terms, but a central part of the history and economy in this area that, even now, has a great influence on the very existence of the town’s inhabitants who continue the ancient olive growing tradition.
The history of extra-virgin olive oil is ancient but still relevant: the symbol of this longevity is the olive tree of Sant’Emiliano, a majestic tree in Trevi that has been bearing fruit for more than 17 centuries. The 12th-century cathedral is named after Saint Emiliano, the first Bishop of Trevi and the patron saint of the city.
Olive oil, the reigning product of Trevi, is also the focus of The Museo della Civiltà dell’Ulivo, which opened in 1997 on the ground floor of the former St. Francesco monastery, annexed to the church of St. Francesco, which dates from the 14th century.
Trevi is therefore, with good reason, unanimously considered the “Olive oil capital”.
The historic heart of Trevi is Piazza Mazzini, which is closed on one corner by the 13th-century Palazzo comunale with its civic tower. The 19th-century the theatre, Teatro Clitunno, contains a beautiful curtain painted by Domenico Bruschi.
The 17th-century Villa Fabri, a magnificent aristocratic residence with gardens overlooking the Spoleto valley in the Municipality of Trevi, is home to a Foundation of the same name, which seeks to protect and promote the natural surroundings and environment, develop and promote culture and art, and develop and promote the scenic, cultural, environmental and gastronomic assets in the region and the relationship between them.
Palazzo Lucarini Contemporary, on the other hand, is a Centre for Modern Art that seeks to produce, promote and provide information on art and modern culture more generally in all its various forms.
Umbrian culinary tradition has very ancient roots tied to the produce of the land.
Trevi’s typical products, in addition to the extra-virgin olive oil for which is renowned, include black celery. This is a Slow Food Presidium which is unique for its greater lenght compared to other varieties, even growing to as much as a metre long. If it is left to grow without any special attention it is dark, and it must be buried to make the stalks turn white, without strings, with a tender and fleshy heart. The simplest recipe, which combines the two typical products of Trevi, is celery in an oil dip known as “cazzimperio” that is made with extra-virgin olive oil, Flaminio olive oil naturally!
Amongst the delicious products offered by the local area are pork sausages, sheep’s milk cheese and honey.
A product that is still not known well enough is Trebbiano wine, the name of which perhaps hints to its origin (Trevi, in Latin = Trebia, from which the adjective Trebianus comes). Until the early 1900s, only Trebbiano was grown in the valley (Trebbiano Spoletino and Trebbiano di Trevi), and Trebbiano Passito, Vin Santo, was considered a speciality of Trevi.